Welcome to the HiSoftware Cynthia Says Portal Finding Your Tone Of Voice Advertisement When creating content for the Web, considering tone of voice is important. Your tone can help you stand out from competitors, communicate efficiently and effectively with your audience and share your personality. What Is Tone Of Voice, And Why Is It Important? Tone of voice isn’t what we say but how we say it. When we speak to others in person, our non-verbal communication says more than the words themselves. You can’t create a strong and effective user experience without language. Differentiating you from competitors,Showing your personality,Helping you gain and retain customers. Here are some snippets of content from the “About” pages of well-known brands. Starbucks “To say that Starbucks purchases and roasts high-quality whole bean coffee is very true. American Express “Each day, American Express makes it easier, safer and more rewarding for consumers and businesses to purchase the things they need and for merchants to sell their goods and services. British Airways Disney
Colour Contrast Check - snook.ca Date created: January 11, 2005 Date last modified: March 30, 2009 The Colour Contrast Check Tool allows to specify a foreground and a background colour and determine if they provide enough of a contrast "when viewed by someone having color deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen"[W3C]. The tool will indicate that the colours pass the test if both the colour difference and the brightness difference exceed their threshold. It will indicate that it sort of passes if only one of the two values exceed their threshold. The tool will also indicate if the colours pass the newer WCAG 2.0 contrast ratio formula. You can enter a three character value (eg: 036) and it'll automatically convert it to it's six character version.
Breaking down Amazon’s mega dropdown The hover effects on Amazon’s big ‘ole “Shop by Department” mega dropdown are super fast. Look'it how quick each submenu fills in as your mouse moves down the list: It’s instant. I got nerd sniped by this. See the delay? I love bootstrap, don’t get it twisted. It’s easy to move the cursor from Amazon’s main dropdown to its submenus. If the cursor moves into the blue triangle the currently displayed submenu will stay open for just a bit longer. At every position of the cursor you can picture a triangle between the current mouse position and the upper and lower right corners of the dropdown menu. And if the cursor goes outside of the blue triangle, they instantly switch the submenu, giving it a really responsive feel. So if you’re as geeky as me and think something this trivial is cool, I made a jQuery plugin that fires events when detecting this sort of directional menu aiming: jQuery-menu-aim. I think it feels snappy.
Web Design References: Accessibility (Skip Page Index) Page Index: Abbreviations & Acronyms Accessibility Statements Accesskeys Assistive Technology Benefits (Why accessibility?) Buttons CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart). Carousels Check Lists Cognitive Disabilities Color: Accessibility Definitions and Overviews Device Independence and Graceful Degradation E-Learning Flicker Focus Forms Higher Ed Keyboard Accessibility Language Law, Lawsuits, Policies Lists Low Vision Mobile Media Accessibility User Requirements - W3C Autoplay Autoplay is Bad for All Users - Emma Sax Audio Description Captioning Streaming (live or real-time) Real-time captioning - Media Access Group Transcripts YouTube Open Source Plugins, PDF, PowerPoint, Documents etc. Relative sizing Scripts Social Inclusion Structure & Semantics Style Sheets (Accessibility) Tables Testing, Checking, Validating Text Alternatives and Text Equivalents Text Links: "Click Here" don't use it Text Only Versions Title Attributes Title Elements Tools: Accessibility WordPress
Why Pinterest isn’t just another social network “I’m still trying to understand the whole thing but there must be something to it. It’s really popular!” That’s my sister-in-law writing on Facebook in late January about Pinterest – one of the real up-and-comers in the world of social media. In case you haven’t succumbed, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard or scrapbook to which users ‘pin’ images, video, or snippets of text from other websites, or content they’ve uploaded themselves. Those pins can then be organised into categories (cooking, sport, etc). Users can comment on or share the pins, and other people can pin them to their personal Pinterest boards as well. Sound simple? Despite not being unique, and currently still being invite-only, Pinterest is 2012’s breakout social media marketing darling. Social media fatigue Every new social media service faces two related forms of user resistance. But Pinterest seems to have hit a Web 2.0 sweet spot, providing compelling answers to both questions. Me first, others second Why is this?
Contrast Analyser for Windows and Mac | The Paciello Group About the Colour Contrast Analyser This native application (available for both Windows and Mac) allows you to evaluate the color visibility and contrast of foreground/background color combinations. It provides an initial pass/fail assessment against WCAG 2.0 color contrast success criteria. In addition, the Colour Contrast Analyser provides functionality to simulate certain visual conditions such as dichromatic color blindness (protanopia, deuteranopia, tritanopia) and cataracts. Details The Color Contrast Analyser was developed to facilitate the assessment of color combinations against WCAG 2.0: The Colour Contrast Analyser uses the following formula to determine contrast: where R, G and B are defined as: if RsRGB <= 0.03928 then R = RsRGB/12.92 else R = ((RsRGB+0.055)/1.055) ^ 2.4if GsRGB <= 0.03928 then G = GsRGB/12.92 else G = ((GsRGB+0.055)/1.055) ^ 2.4if BsRGB <= 0.03928 then B = BsRGB/12.92 else B = ((BsRGB+0.055)/1.055) ^ 2.4 and RsRGB, GsRGB, and BsRGB are defined as: Versions Windows
The Future Of UX Design: Tiny, Humanizing Details Dan Saffer, like many designers, likes to quote Charles Eames. But unlike many designers, Saffer—Director of Interaction Design at Smart Design—wrote a whole book inspired by one of his favorite Eames quotes: "The details are not the details. They make the design." Saffer’s book, titled Microinteractions, takes Eames’s maxim to heart and then some. "For the last decade or so, designers have been encouraged to tackle 'wicked problems’ and to address systems," he tells Co.Design. "But when you’re working on such a macro scale, the details sometimes get lost, and it’s the details that make systems feel more human, and more humane. So what is a "microinteraction," anyway? These atomic design moments, Saffer argues, are what whole products, and even whole systems and "wicked problems," ultimately boil down to. When microinteractions succeed—even invisibly, which is how most of them do—they make an emotional difference that’s greater than the sum of their tiny parts.
Getting A Website? Don't Ask For A Quote How To Apologize Online How To Apologize Online In Fertile Medium on 26 June 2013 Hint: Do it like Kickstarter, not Paula Deen. If you’re human, eventually you’ll have to apologize for something. Two high profile apologies hit the web today, one from Kickstarter and the other from Paula Deen. (Yes, Kickstarter is a company and Paula Deen is a person, but in this context, they’re both corporations with angry communities, and their businesses hang in the balance.) With today’s examples in mind, here’s the Fertile Medium recipe for apologizing online. Step 1: Restate the problem. I know, you’re embarrassed. Kickstarter begins their post with a brief summation of what happened, complete with links so that the interested reader can follow up for more information. Step 2: Own it. Before you do anything else, prove that you know what you did. Kickstarter says, in a paragraph all by itself, “We were wrong.” Step 3: Say you’re sorry. Step 4: Explain what went wrong. This is a tricky maneuver. Paula Deen didn’t do this at all.
How to Conduct a Top Task Analysis Jeff Sauro • September 10, 2013 Who are the users and what are they trying to do? Answering those two questions are essential first steps to measuring and improving the right things on an interface. It's also one of the first things we'll cover at the Denver UX Boot Camp. While there are hundreds to thousands of things users can accomplish on websites and software interfaces, there are a critical few tasks that drive users to visit a website or use the software. Think of all the features Microsoft Word provides. Prioritizing tasks is not a new concept. Gerry McGovern proposed a unique way of having users consider a lot of features in his book The Stranger's Long Neck. List the Tasks In the users' language, identify features, content and functionality you want them to consider. Pick Five Present the enumerated list of tasks in randomized order to representative users. As Gerry explains and as we've seen, there will usually be too many tasks for users to consider individually. Graph & Analyze
How we work – February 24th, 2014 – I’ve had a few people ask me recently about how we work at Mark Boulton Design. And, the truth be told, it slightly differs from project to project, from client to client. But the main point is that we work in an iterative way with prototypes at the heart of our work every step of the way. Work from facts AND your intuition We always start by trying to understand the problem: the users of the website or product, the organisation on their customer strategy, the goals and needs of the project, who’s in charge and who isn’t. This could be as simple as running some face to face interviews with existing or potential customers coupled with a new survey. We couple that with trying to extract the scope from the client. User story workshop This workshop is designed to tease out the scope of the project – everything we can think of. Persona / user modelling workshop Personas have been called bullshit in UX circles for years now. Brand workshop This is a vital workshop for me.
llaborative Moodboards – April 1st, 2014 – Creating moodboards is something I was taught from a very early age. In primary school, they were a simple mixed-media way of expressing a form of an idea. The thing I find interesting about mood boards is not the end-result, but the process of creation. Watching my children make posters from torn up bits of newspaper and magazines is really no different to watching my clients do it. Making moodboards for you, not for me. I have to be honest, I don’t make moodboards for myself. Let me ask you a question: how many times have you heard this from a client? ‘I’m not so sure I think the design is heading in the right direction’. These are all because a client cannot communicate about design at the same level we do. ‘I don’t like that green’. Then things get subjective and extremely detailed. So, why would want to try and run one of these sessions? When a client’s brand is repositioning, sometimes we’re brought in very early on the back of a strategy. Further reading
Ultimate list of online content readability tests | Raven Blog “In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’” Can you read the above paragraph easily? If so, count yourself one of the lucky literate. While the CIA’s The World Factbook may put the literacy rate of most highly developed nations at 99%—where those age 15 and older can read and write—that doesn’t account for how many can read and write well, or even comfortably. If you want what you write to influence the most people possible, you must take readability into account. What’s readability? Here’s a fun exercise in lack of readability: search online for a simple definition of it. I bet we can simplify things. Readability is how easy your writing is to read. What influences readability? Readability depends on lots of things… …and so on. But you can control how you write.